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Reps panel accuses CBN, banks of sharing N15bn remittance

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The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks of complicity in the sharing of the N15 billion remittance paid to Remita, from the Office of the Accountant General for the Federation (OAGF).

The Chairman of Committee, Hon. Bamidele Salam made the accusation at the resumed investigative hearing on revenue leakages in Abuja on Thursday.

Remita is a payment solution that helps individuals and businesses make and receive payment, pay bills and manage their finances.

Salam said that the payment of N15 billion to Remita from the OAGF from 2016 to 2018 was questionable, adding that the OAGF paid the money without agreement or contract.

He said the money was an illegal payment without budgetary provision, querying the source of the money.

“The CBN also shared in the money. The money is an illegal payment; there was no budget provision, so where did they source the money from?

“System Spec and Remita, both collecting revenue for the federal government, will share 50 percent, while the banks and the CBN will also have their share,” Bamidele said.

The Director Banking Services, CBN, Ahmed Abdullahi, said they deemed it fit to source for an alternative way of remitting revenue, and Remita and System Spec were selected because they had been rendering similar services to banks.

According to him, Remita was engaged in 2011 and operations commenced in 2012 with system module names, saying the CBN only finalized the transaction.

He said that the fees charged under the TSA were in line with the structure of banking adding that the volume of revenue collection that passed through Remita was N86 million.

The Director, Remita Payment Services Ltd, Aderemi Atanda while reading the summary of the TSA collection record, said that 10, 20, and 50 percent were shared among CBN, commercial banks, and Remita.

Meanwhile, the Committee has warned the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, over his continuous disregard for the invitation of the panel, saying his actions amount to contempt of parliament.

The chairman, while giving this warning said, this was the fourth time the committee would be inviting the FIRS chairman but failed to show up.

According to him, in addition to writing him officially, they have also made sure that such letters were delivered personally to his mail box and his WhatsApp number.

“We condemn and describe it as irresponsible and arrogant, and we tell him that there will be consequences if he continues this contempt of his parliament,” Salam said.

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